The environmental benefits of rainwater harvesting are many! When you install a rainwater catchment system you are aligning with Mother Earth in a variety of ways:
- Reducing your Draw on Stressed Systems: Aging infrastructure of municipal water systems is expensive to update, and groundwater resources are often overdrawn. When you supply a portion of your own water from the rain that falls on your roof, you reduce your draw on these stressed systems.
- Restoring the Hydrologic Cycle: In a natural landscape, approximately 50% of stormwater infiltrates into the ground, recharging groundwater. About 40% evaporates, and only about 10% becomes runoff. In developed landscapes, by contrast (e.g. our homes!), only 15% is allowed to infiltrate and a whopping 55% leaves the site as runoff! When you collect rainwater for use in your garden, you allow it to infiltrate at a more natural rate, restoring the hydrologic cycle on your site by contributing to groundwater recharge!
- Protecting your Local Watershed: When rainwater infiltrates onsite, it is prevented from entering stormdrains and surface waters as polluted runoff. Left unmitigated, rainwater sheets off hardscapes collecting contaminants along the way. The ultimate damage is to waterways that receive the influx of stormwater, and to the aquatic life that live there.
- Reducing your Carbon Footprint: There is a strong nexus between energy and water in our modern world. In the state of California, 20% of per-capita energy use is dedicated to treating and transporting water! In turn, water is a huge component of cleaning and cooling energy generation facilities. By reducing your reliance on pumped and treated water sources, you are contributing to a collective savings in energy.